Wednesday, 26 May 2010

HRH's wedding - by Theo

So, just over 2 years after Kate and I tied the knot, my little sister Hermione and her boyfriend Richard (who have been together the same amount of time as Kate and I) followed suit in style.

As my sister works in the wedding trade, as a jewellery designer specialising in bridal wear, they know all the ins-and-outs of organising a wedding. They also realised that one of the worst things about weddings, from the point of view of the happy couple, is having all your friends there but no time to talk to them! Their solution: hire a wedding venue that can double as self-catering accommodation and invite people for three days rather than an afternoon. Genius!

So Friday afternoon we arrived as Eastington Hall in Gloucestershire to find red carpet being rolled out (they had scavenged it from a wedding fair) and the bar being stocked. We made ourselves comfortable in our lovely en suite room over-looking the courtyard and pitched in. Most of the work had been done (though I did a stint of washing up after dinner) so we were largely able to hang out chatting with friends from near and far - Stu and Sam from Bristol, and Marit, Alf and Solfrid from Norway. I also managed to get in a game of cricket, which was fun, even though Richard's sister Jo gave the boys' bowling some serious punishment and I was out caught for 14 - by a tree! Dinner - a small, intimate affair for 50 - came courtesy of the Thali Cafe, Hermione's long-term part-time employer, and was absolutely delicious. Somehow Rosie slept through all the hubbub in a borrowed pram - we stuck her in another room and left the door open so we could see her. (We repeated the trick the next day - by parking her on the grass outside the dining room window!) Most people headed off to bed early, aware that there was a full programme the next day.

It began with breakfast. Orchestrated by my Dad it was mammoth, heroic affair of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausages, haloumi, bacon, beans, toast and 4 helpers, including myself. Delicious! More friends and relatives began to arrive, some in sumptuous clothes - Marit's traditional Norwegian garb, Jim's Kilt and Audrey's sari were particularly awesome.When spent a lot of time catching up with Tom and Claire sipping champagne under a shady tree, somewhere we seemed to gravitate to constantly over the weekend.It was perfect weather, only in the 20s but thanks to the cloudless skies and humidity, seemingly a lot hotter. Thank goodness for all the shade! We also got to show off Rosie to various relatives, including her little second-cousin Phoebe (with whom she got to practice her Spanish.)Then, suddenly, it was ceremony time! I was technically an usher, but I was viewing it as more a courtesy title than an expectation that I actually do anything, though I found myself having to step in and seat some of Hermione's old class mates who were standing at the back giggling like school-girls and too shy to take the spare seats. Then, after some suitably lame attempts by those on the front bench to make Richard nervous, Hermione arrived on my Dad's arm.Jewellery: model's own. It was a civil service, but nonetheless extremely moving, with my Aunty Monica the first to go, followed swiftly by my mother and I. Before we knew it, they were man and wife, signed, sealed and delivered.Champers, photo, strawberries in chocolate, a delicious buffet dinner, speeches, the arrival of Kate's sister/Rosie's babysitter Becky, and a Berry/Garrity football team getting a real beating all passed in a blur as Rosie slept happily in her pram.The speeches were particularly good - my Dad just about made it through his BAFTA award to Richard for Best Supporting Role, while the best man's speech had Richard reaching for the booze. Example:

A couple of weeks after the first Hollyoaks episode featuring Richard had aired we were walking along when I said to Richard " I think those people are looking at you." To which he replied "To be fair, people always look at me."

Quality embarrassment.Our friend Natasha turned up to DJ, only to discover she had forgotten the adapter to plug her headphones in with and, after her assistant Lucy made a round trip to Bristol to get one, it turned out it was broken. Still she soldiered on!In the end she did a good job of getting people on the dancefloor anyway - who needs beat-matching! In fact she did too good a job, as when she finally knocked off at 1am, a hardcore (including the bride and groom - you'd have thought they would have other things on their mind!) wanted to carry on, so they plugged in an ipod and danced til 5am! Great! Except for the fact that, due to the gorgeous weather they had moved the PA from the ballroom to the small lounge that opened onto the patio. A wise decision, except that the PA was now directly below our bedroom. Between Rosie and the thudding bass Kate got exactly 2 hours sleep, and Becky and I didn't fare much better.So the following day we were pretty much zombified and thus I eschewed the rather too energetic games of badminton being held. Instead I stuck to croquet, which was won quite emphatically by Marit's boyfriend Andreas. The Norwegians were also looking resplendent in their vintage gear, the garden party having a vintage theme. My effort was to wear the same shirt as the night before - kind of vintage!
All things come to an end though, even mammoth weddings like this one, especially when you are constrained by Easyjet's schedule. So after another delicious buffet, this time held on the lawn, we headed off with Becky to Bristol airport extremely pleased with the new addition to our family. And Richard.

Congratulations H & R!

No comments:

Post a Comment